Michael A. Newton, professor of the practice of law and director of Vanderbilt Law School’s summer study program in Venice, has been appointed to the board of advisors of the American Bar Association’s International Criminal Court Project (ABA-ICC Project).
Newton is an expert on accountability and conduct of hostilities issues who previously served on the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward the ICC. He currently serves on ASIL’s executive council. He negotiated the Elements of Crimes document for the ICC and coordinated the interface between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia while deploying into Kosovo to do the forensics fieldwork in support of the indictment of Slobodan Milosevic. At Vanderbilt, he is affiliated with the International Legal Studies Program.
The ABA-ICC Project was established by the ABA Center for Human Rights to implement longstanding policies regarding the ICC and international criminal justice. “These policies emphasize the need for a permanent international criminal tribunal; the value of the ICC in ensuring accountability and eradicating impunity for international atrocity crimes; the complementarity principle that establishes the ICC as a court of last resort for crimes that fall within its jurisdiction; the importance of U.S. ratification of the Rome Statute and until any such ratification, the importance of U.S. support for and engagement with the ICC,” the project’s statement of purpose states.
“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to work with a very distinguished board to make recommendations regarding U.S. policy toward the ICC going forward,” Newton said. “The Court’s precise role in a range of international conflicts and political contexts continues to evolve in ways that directly affect the pursuit of peace and the rights of people.”
The ABA-ICC Project’s multi-national board of advisors includes experienced judges, lawyers, diplomats and human rights advocates.The board is chaired by Michael S. Greco, a former ABA president (2005-06) who currently chairs the advisory council of the ABA Center for Human Rights, and also includes M. Cherif Bassiouni, professor of law emeritus at DePaul University, and commission chair of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry; Judge Thomas Buergenthal, who served on the International Court of Justice from 2000-10; Hans Corell, who was under-secretary-general for legal affairs and legal counsel of the United Nations from 1994 to 2004; David M. Crane, who was chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2002-05; Donald M. Ferencz, director of The Planethood Foundation; Thomas Graham Jr., former U.S. Special Representative for Arms Control, Non-proliferation, and Disarmament; Judge Philippe Kirsch, who served as ICC president from 2003-09; Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, who was president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia from1997-99; retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States; David J. Scheffer, who was U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues from 1997 to 2001; Thomas L. Siebert, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden from 1994-98; William H. Taft IV, who was State Department Legal Adviser from 2001-05; and Judge Patricia M. Wald, retired Chief Justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, who served in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia from 1999 to 2002.